Samara Private Game Reserve has recently announced the reintroduction of lions into the park!
Over the past two decades, the population of lions have declined by nearly 43%, with much of the decline being the caused by human expansion and shrinking habitats. In South Africa, the infamous canned hunting industry has also led to a rapid decrease in Lions. The practice of canned hunting involves breeding and rearing lions for the sole purpose of being shot for sport in their enclosures. It is greatly reviled in the region and many organisations are working to end the practice.
Today there about 3000 wild lions in the country which has obviously had a big impact on the local ecosystem. This has not gone unnoticed and in an effort to reintroduce lions into an ecosystem that they have historically occurred, Samara is providing a sanctuary for some of them.
Their vision is to restore the Great Karoo to its former ecological glory by reintroducing free-roaming lions into the region, who will assume their role as predators, which will keep the local herbivore populations in check and thus help protect the indigenous vegetation from overgrazing. The lions are set to arrive in August 2018 and Sarah Tompkins, the founder of Samara, is truly excited for the event, stating:
We are delighted to be bringing lions back to our region. Their reintroduction gives us the opportunity to study what happens when a top predator returns to an ecosystem. Besides that, we can’t wait to hear their roars echoing through our valleys.
For more information on this amazing undertaking visit the Samara Private Nature Reserve website